Wednesday, June 13, 2012

three other highly quotables from the Graeber Baffler piece:

"But it’s also easy to see how choking off any sense of an inevitable, redemptive future that could be different from our world is a crucial part of the neoliberal project."


"The Internet is a remarkable innovation, but all we are talking about is a super-fast and globally accessible combination of library, post office, and mail-order catalogue. Had the Internet been described to a science fiction aficionado in the fifties and sixties and touted as the most dramatic technological achievement since his time, his reaction would have been disappointment. Fifty years and this is the best our scientists managed to come up with? We expected computers that would think!"

Internet activities-- and the same applies to stuff we do with our phones or GPS enabled stuff-- almost all of this activity, falls into the category I call "the mundane miracle": i.e. easier, quicker, more flexible or portable ways or _____ ways of doing things that we were already doing. It's the utter banality of the future that is so startling.

"In this final, stultifying stage of capitalism, we are moving from poetic technologies to bureaucratic technologies. By poetic technologies I refer to the use of rational and technical means to bring wild fantasies to reality....  The greatest and most powerful nation that has ever existed has spent the last decades telling its citizens they can no longer contemplate fantastic collective enterprises, even if—as the environmental crisis demands— the fate of the earth depends on it."

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